The Executive Board of the UALE will be presenting five awards for outstanding contributions and achievement in the field of labor education at our annual conference this April.

We are proud to announce the recipients of four of the awards:

  • Judy Ancel, Director of The Institute for Labor Studies at UMKC, will receive the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Labor Education.
  • The Award for Lifetime Achievement will be going to Charlie Micallef of the IAM's Winpisinger Center.
  • Bill Fletcher, Jr., and Fernando Gapasin have won the Best Book Award for Solidarity Divided.
  • The winner of the award for Best Labor Studies Journal Article is Jason Albright, for his article “Contending Rationality, Leadership, and Collective Struggle:  The 2006 Justice for Janitors Campaign at the University of Miami.
  • The winner of the New Generation Award is Jason Stanley, of New York University Department of Sociology, for his paper "Cross-Border Unionism in an Era of neoliberal Globalization"

Click on the links below or scroll down the page to read more about the awardees and/or nominees for each of the five annual UALE awards.

1.   Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Labor Studies 
2.   Best Labor Studies Journal Article published in 2006-2008
3.   Best Book Published in 2003-2008 related to the field of Labor Education
4.   Lifetime Achievement Award
5.   New Generation Award for Best Student Paper (These papers were judged and
      announced at the UALE conference)

1.  Outstanding Contribution to the field in 2008

"This award recognizes an outstanding example of the connection between labor education and activism: a new curriculum, important project, outstanding campaign on an issue, or an exemplary effort to use labor education to strengthen the labor movement. It can involve a formal institution of labor education, either university-, union-, or community-based. Or it can represent an independent effort outside an institutional labor ed program. It can be an on-going program, multi- year effort, or one that has ended.  Some aspect of the program must have occurred within the calendar year 2008.   An individual, a program, or a project can be nominated."


PROJECT/PROGRAM: Heartland Labor Forum

This radio program is a terrific outreach mechanism to the general public.  It consistently covers interesting issues from a labor viewpoint, and is a very rare example of a labor perspective on the radio.  The International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) has honored this program for its coverage of New Orleans post-Katrina.  The program is consistently high quality, and because it is so interesting, it is effective.  

 judy ancel
Judy Ancel

Judy has been the Director of The Institute for Labor Studies since 1988. She teaches many of ILS's classes and especially loves teaching labor history, leadership and mobilization, and global economic issues. She has a B.A. from Stanford and M.A. in History from C.U.N.Y. She began teaching in community colleges in the 1970s. She has also worked in an electronics factory and a pump factory where she was a lathe machinist. She has been an activist all her life and a union activist and organizer in both the United Steelworkers and American Federation of Teachers.

She coordinates The Heartland Labor Forum, labor's radio show in Kansas City on Community Radio KKFI 90.1FM. She is President of the Board of Directors of The Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, a non-profit organization which develops ties and mutual understanding between working people in the Kansas City area and maquiladora workers in Mexico and educates about immigration in the global economy. She has also served on the Executive Committee of The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, a San Antonio-based tri-national non-governmental organization which educates and advocates on maquiladora worker issues. She has one daughter, Carrie, who is now grown and independent.

HONORABLE MENTIONMinnesota At Work, Martin Duffy and Howard Kling
This television program was developed by Martin Duffy in the 1980’s and continues to educate union members and the greater Minnesota community on issues relevant to working people.  Martin also filmed Labor’s Turning Point which many labor educators have used regularly in labor classes.  Howard Kling, the Minnesota State AFL-CIO and the faculty at the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota continue this fine work to this day.  


2.  Best Labor Studies Journal Article published in 2006-2008

The winner of this award is chosen by the Editorial Board of Labor Sudies Journal.

WINNERJason Albright, “Contending Rationality, Leadership, and Collective Struggle:  The 2006 Justice for Janitors Campaign at the University of Miami,” Vol. 33, No. 1 (March 2008), 00. 63-80.

HONORABLE MENTIONKris Paap, “How Good Men of the Union Justify Inequality: Dilemmas of Race and Labor in the Building Trades,” Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec. 2008), pp. 371-392.


3.   Best Published Book 2003-2008.

"This award is for a book that has been especially valuable in labor education.  It should be a book that represents responsible scholarship, new ideas, creative thinking, an intellectual contribution to the labor movement, the broader workers’ movement, labor economics or politics, culture, or any other topic related to work or labor.  It should be a book that can be or is used in an educational setting."

WINNER:Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice
by Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Fernando Gapasin

This book is probably the most important book on the current labor movement to come out in recent years. It is more than a revealing memoir by two extremely well-informed and thoughtful activists. It is also a critical analysis the how the labor movement failed to live up to the high expectations for the New Voice leadership elected in 1995. It describes what took place inside the upper levels of organized labor in the years immediately after that election but tells the story from the perspective of someone able to reflect at a distance. The result is a narrative that is both detailed and accessible.

Their argument is that the decline of the union movement is the result of the turn away from what they call Social Movement Unionism. They marshal historical and contemporary examples to suggest that at many crucial times, opportunities have been lost. One example of a missed opportunity is the debate that preceded the 2005 split in the AFL-CIO, when five unions left to form Change To Win. They argue that key issues of union internationalism, union democracy and historic and present discrimination against people of color, women, and immigrants, were largely off the table. They give examples of what could be the building blocks of a strategy for change and a labor movement that is militant, democratic, extending beyond the trade unions to concern with all workers. They strongly suggest that a union movement based on the desire to recover the “good old days” of labor management cooperation and the post-WWII social contract is hopeless. They give serious attention to issues of organizing, drawing leadership from and representing that part of the union movement and the working class who are women and people of color.

Fletcher was AFL-CIO Education Director for some years and later Assistant to President Sweeney, then at the National Labor College. Gapasin, for years a teacher of Labor Education and Chicano Studies at UCLA, was the main researcher for Union Cities. Both have years in the trenches in the unions as elected leaders, staffers and members.


Worker Centers:  Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream
by Janice Fine

Taking Back the Workers' Law: How to Fight the Assault on Labor Right
by Ellen Dannin   

State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence
by Philip Dine

Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign
by Michael K. Honey

Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever 
by David Kusnet

Strikes, Picketing and Inside Campaigns: A Legal Guide for Unions
by Robert Schwartz

A Troublemaker’s Handbook  : How to Fight Back Where You Work and Win
edited by Jane Slaughter 

4.   Lifetime Achievement Award

"This award is for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of labor education over the course of years. We are intentionally leaving the description of this category broad, to encourage wide latitude in your choice of nominees."

WINNER: Charlie Micallef
The William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, IAMAW, Placid Harbor, MD.

charlie micallef

Charlie Micallef

Born of mixed heritage in the village of Qormi on the island country of Malta, Charles (Carlo) Micallef was one of six children of Consigliore Micallef and Beatrice Castillo.  The immigrant family settled in Detroit, Michigan to work at Ford in the Rouge Foundry. 

(He must have been a challenge to his first grade teacher – as a young boy he could not speak English.  Before entering his first year of school, he was struck by a car causing him to be incontinent and he had difficulty walking.  Luckily, he learned quickly to defend himself and adopted a thick skin. He adjusted.)

After high school, Charlie began an IBEW, LU # 17 electrical apprenticeship and worked as a Distribution Lineman for the Detroit Edison Company.  Within a year, 1965, he was drafted into the Army and served with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam.

After his discharge in 1967, Charlie resumed his apprenticeship.  Although he grew up in a union environment, he did not become active in the union movement until a lengthy strike in 1968. He was also active in the Vietnam Veterans for Peace movement.
Charlie served as a union steward, Recording Secretary, E-Board member, Vice-President, and a number of special assignments in LU # 17.

In 1971, Charlie attended his first labor education program conducted by University of Michigan – Wayne State University. 
1976 he received an Associate Degree from Macomb County Community College
1978 he received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Michigan University,
1980 he received a Master of Labor and Industrial Relations Degree from Michigan State    University,
2004 he received a Ph.D. in Ancient History from Union Institute and University
Charlie has worked in Labor Education since 1978:

  • Adjunct Instructor at Macomb County Community College
  • Adjunct Instructor for Labor Program Services at Michigan State University
  • Faculty of Labor Education and Research Service at Ohio State University
  • Education Representative and College Degree Coordinator at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, IAMAW.

Charlie is most proud of his work in developing a partnership with NLC to help Machinist union members obtain a college degree.

Charlie served as an E-Board member and President for Workers’ Education Local 189

Charlie served as an E-Board member and Secretary for UALE.

5.   New Generation Award for Best Student Paper

The winner of the New Generation Award is Jason Stanley, of New York University Department of Sociology, for his paper "Cross-Border Unionism in an Era of neoliberal Globalization"

The winners of the New Generation Student Scholarship Competition, for scholarships to the Conference in order to present their papers, are:

  • Julika Buergin, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Jeff Cornelissen M.A. Student Brock University (Political Science), ON, Canada
  • Michael A. McCarthy, New York University, Department of Sociology, New York, NY
  • Matthew Piszczek, School of Labor & Industrial Relations, Michigan State University
  • Zia Rahman, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Michael Snow, UNC
  • Jason Stanley, New York University, Department of Sociology, New York, NY 10012
  • Rebecca Tarlau:  PhD Student, UC—Berkeley, Social and Cultural Studies in Education
  • Bradley Walchuk, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, York University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada